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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Rain plays spoilsport in Aus-SL match

Rain plays spoilsport in Aus-SL match

Last updated on: March 05, 2011 23:21 IST

- Scorecard

The crucial Group A match between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Premadasa on Saturday was abandoned because of rain in Colombo on Saturday.

The home team, having won the toss and elected to bat first, had made 146 for three in 32.5 overs when torrential downpours ensured no further play was possible.

Kumar Sangakkara was unbeaten on a magnificent 73, his 102-ball inning inclusive of seven boundaries. And Thilan Samaraweera had made 34 not out when play stopped.

Groundsmen lay the covers on the field as the rain pours down at the Premadasa in ColomboThe wash out implies both the sides get a point each from the fixture.

While the result doesn't affect the three-time defending champions, considering they have won both their opening matches and are playing two minnows next, for the home team it was clearly the loss of a valuable point, especially demoralizing since it came just days after their defeat to Pakistan.

Coming to the match per se, Australia had the upper hand at the start before Sangakkara ensured the revival of the home side.

Australia drew first blood when Tait had Tillekeratne Dilshan (4) caught by Cameron White at second slip.

A spectacular catch by Steven Smith at point ensured the end of Upul Tharanga (6), Brett Lee being the beneficiary.

The home side had lost both its openers under seven overs and it was left to the experienced duo of Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene (23) to do the repair work.

And to their credit the duo started confidently, scoring their runs at a brisk pace. The fact that the Australian captain had set an attacking field, buoyed by his bowler's early successes, also helped them in this regard.

However, their 44 runs partnership (off 52 balls) for the third wicket, though sweet was short.

And it was Smith's fielding again that ensured Australia their third breakthrough, his direct hit from cover point good enough to send Mahela back to the pavilion.

The home team had been reduced to 76 for three by the end of the 16th over.

Sangakkara though continued to lead from the front, reaching his 61st half century, his sixth in the World Cup.

He and Samaraweera had put together a 71-run stand (in 105 balls) for the fifth wicket when the heavens opened. It was all over as far as the match was concerned.

Photograph: Getty Images

Bikash Mohapatra in Colombo